Returning after their stunning two-recital program of the complete Beethoven cello sonatas for Cal Performances at Home last fall, the revered chamber duo of David Finckel and Wu Han present a panoramic program of works spanning centuries. Cellist and pianist are both deeply influential in the classical music world as artistic directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and co-founders of Music@Menlo, and their programs always offer profound insights into the evolution of musical ideas and movements.
Progressing chronologically, they tackle Bach’s vibrant G major sonata for viola da gamba and cembalo—the ancestors of the cello and piano—and continue to Mendelssohn’s ebullient, virtuosic second sonata, and Debussy’s influential cello sonata, a jewel in the Impressionist style. The program concludes with Britten’s sonata composed for the great Mstislav Rostropovich, who as a mentor to Finckel, shared his precious insight into the work’s conception with his protégé in a master class at UC Berkeley.
“Partners in music and life, Finckel and Wu Han…play with absolute security, conviction, and authority” (Strings).
The run time for this performance is approximately 90 minutes including intermission, and not including any encores.